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Handgun Newbie Needs Help

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Unread 08-26-2010, 02:49 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3
Handgun Newbie Needs Help

Im looking to get my first handgun for hunting whitetails in Ohio.Hunting regulations says it has to be a handgun with atleast a 5 inch barrel,shoots straight wall cartridges,and has to be 357 or bigger...Heres what id like to be able to accomplish if possible- 200-220 yard shots on a whitetail.Is this possible?Obviously I want one that accepts a scope/scope mount and I dont want the recoil to be harsh.(who wants that lol)

Id like to keep it under $1,000 for the gun....Im looking for suggestions on what caliber(following Ohio's 357 or larger rule)and what gun.Someone point me in the right direction please.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 05:31 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Bloomingdale, Mi
Posts: 337
Re: Handgun Newbie Needs Help

We have the same law up here in Michigan I have a Ruger Super Redhawk 44mag but it is only good to about 100yd maybe 125. I might be wrong but I think the only way your going to get to that 200 mark is with a T/C Contender pistol in 45-70 but recoil will come into play.

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Unread 08-26-2010, 05:49 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Carrollton, Ohio
Posts: 637
Re: Handgun Newbie Needs Help

I use a 357 with hottish loads using Hornady 158gr HP-XTP bullets. I figured I could get out to 150 yards with enough accuracy and energy.

I would think the 44 Magnum probably would fit the bill. With 240gr bullets at 100fps faster than my 357 bullets were going, (using the same length barrel,) there is more energy at 250 yards than I have at 150.

The bullets are going subsonic by 150 yards which could cause accuracy problems. I don't seem to suffer from accuracy loss at extended ranges with the same bc and bullet type.

I see pretty many of them in your price range.
Here is a nice one. Smith & Wesson Model 629

There is a Taurus there that would fit the bill for $550... If you like Taurus.

Then you need a scope mount, rings and scope. I priced those items for my pistol at around $200 but I don't know how brutal a 44 magnum would be on a scope and such, you could need really good accessories.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 03:33 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,487
Re: Handgun Newbie Needs Help

Get you a T/C Contender or Encore in 357 Maximum with a 14" barrel and a scope with a ballistic plex in it and do a bunch of practicing. You will need to hand load for this but you can get a 180 gr bullet up to around 1900 fps and with a 125 yard zero you will not be above or below line of sight more than about 3.5 inches out to 150 yards. Then you will need to use the ballistic plex because after 150 yards it drops like a rock.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 03:48 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Kodiak, Ak
Posts: 357
Re: Handgun Newbie Needs Help

Having started hunting game in the early 70's with a handgun I would highly recommend a 357 Max cartridge and with practice and the right bullet 200 yard shots are easy!

I would not go with the rainbow trajectory of the 45-70 or the recoil as a starter hunter. Many I friend is using the Max and have taken a lot of deer and antelope with one.

Not knowing all your regulations I would suggest a bolt gun and lead bullets for the straight walled 458 Win Mag or the 458 LoTT if they pass the muster. With the straight walled case and 300 grain bullets they should do you just fine to 300 yards or so. Don't forget the 444 Marlin as well. I hunted with one for ten years nut recommend a muzzle brake starting out.

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Unread 08-27-2010, 01:10 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 2,016
Re: Handgun Newbie Needs Help

Some great advice above.

The 44 Mag is a great cartridge - to 125 yards, even when sighted in with a zero at 100. After that it drops like a brick, no matter what. The only way to get past that is to dial in adjustment for shots beyond that range, and I doubt you want to do that. The best ballistic coefficient in a 44 round is the Hornady LEVERevolution cartridge.

Else the 460 or 500 S&W will get you closer, but you'll have to deal with the recoil. Sight them in at 150, and you're good to about 180 yards per the ballistic calculator.
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Unread 08-27-2010, 01:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,833
Re: Handgun Newbie Needs Help

I agree with Neal-357 Max
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